Did TV show nudge Chrysler?
Did a TV report force Chrysler Corp. to launch a service campaign affecting more than 2 million Jeeps? That's what ABC's 'Prime Time Live' would like to believe. In its report last week on unintended acceleration in Jeeps, 'Prime Time' suggested that drivers are mistakenly stepping on the accelerator instead of the brake because the brake pedal is positioned too far to the left. Susan Cischke, Chrysler's executive director of vehicle certification, compliance and safety affairs, said on 'Prime Time' that the position of the brake pedal in those vehicles could be a factor in reports by drivers of unintended acceleration. Chrysler says the Jeeps are defect free, but on April 29 it announced a service campaign aimed at owners of 1984-95 Cherokees and 1993-95 Grand Cherokees. It will install a brake-park shift interlock, which requires the driver to depress the brake before the transmission can be shifted out of park. The timing of the show was a coincidence, said Michele Tinson, a Chrysler spokeswoman. The company was going to order the service campaign anyway, she said.
NISSAN HONORED - The Smithsonian Institution has honored Nissan Motor Corp. U.S.A. with the institution's first 'corporate leadership award' in recognition of Nissan's support for educational and music programs. Nissan sponsors a traveling exhibit about geography for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders that will visit 40 cities through 2002. Nissan also has supported a Smithsonian symposium about historically black colleges and universities and made a multimillion-dollar donation to support musical programs.
NOT QUITE RETIRED - John Rock, retired general manager of Oldsmobile, has not left the industry. Rock, 61, last month was appointed to the board of directors of Rush Enterprises Inc. in San Antonio, the nation's first publicly traded heavy-truck dealership. Trucks aren't new to Rock. He headed GMC from 1982-90.
THEY COMMUTE! THEY FLY! THEY SWIM! Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry's summer exhibit, 'CARS,' features 19 oddball designs from the 1930s to the 1960s. Included are a 1937 Waterman Arrowbile car/airplane with detachable wings and a 1964 Amphicar auto/boat. The show, sponsored by Ford Motor Co., runs through Sept. 7.
LUMINOUS LUMINA - Chevrolet officials are beaming over the 1997 J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, which placed the Lumina sedan as the highest ranking domestic car. The Lumina tied for seventh place with the Acura RL with 55 defects per 100 vehicles sold. That's down from 178 defects per 100 vehicles in 1990, according to Lumina Brand Manager Don Parkinson. 'We improved in every single category over the last year except interior,' Parkinson said. 'We are working very hard at the plant to get to zero defects.' Because of ties, there were 13 vehicles in the top 10. Eleven were Japanese; the Mercury Sable was the only other Big 3 car. The Lumina's primary competitors on the list, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, had 51 and 53 defects respectively.